Scores

Final

San Diego State 12

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Washington 21

(1-0, 1-0 home)

Coverage: Pac-12 Network

10:30 PM ET, September 1, 2012

CenturyLink Field, SEATTLE, WA

1 2 3 4 T
SDSU 0 6 0 612
WASH 14 0 7 021

Top Performers

Passing: K. Price (WASH) - 222 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: B. Sankey (WASH) - 22 CAR, 66 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: K. Williams (WASH) - 6 REC, 75 YDS, 1 TD

Washington rides early lead to win over SDSU

Associated Press

SEATTLE -- Safety Will Shamburger returned a fumble 44 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, Keith Price threw for 222 yards and a TD to Kasen Williams, and Washington raced to an early lead then held on for a 21-12 win over San Diego State on Saturday night.

The Huskies revamped, new look defense under new coordinator Justin Wilcox more than held their own against the Aztecs and took the first step in erasing the embarrassing memories of last year's 67 points allowed to Baylor in last December's Alamo Bowl.

Washington forced three turnovers, sacked Aztecs quarterback Ryan Katz four times and picked up its first defensive touchdown since November 2010 on Shamburger's scoop-and-score early in the third quarter.

Katz threw a 47-yard touchdown to uncovered Tim Vizzi on the first play of the second quarter and Adam Muema added a 1-yard TD run in the fourth quarter but that was it for the Aztecs, who weren't helped by questionable kicking decisions by coach Rocky Long.

Katz finished 10 of 19 for 128 yards in his first start after transferring from Oregon State. The Aztecs went for the 2-point conversion following Vizzi's touchdown on the first play of the second quarter and failed. They were forced to go for two again following Muema's score on fourth down with 12:06 left and trailing 21-12, but Katz's pass was broken up by Huskies safety Justin Glenn and the Aztecs still trailed by two scores.

San Diego State followed Muema's touchdown with another drive inside the Washington 10 but faced fourth-down at the 8 with 4:50 left. After a timeout to discuss options, Long opted to go for it rather than kicking the short field goal attempt. Katz's pass for Gavin Escobar was overthrown in the back corner of the end zone.

Washington allowed 327 total yards, well under the 453 yards per game average allowed a year ago under previous defensive coordinator Nick Holt. And they were opportunistic with cornerback Tre Watson intercepting Katz on the Aztecs' first possession of the game and giving the Huskies a short field for their first score of the season when Bishop Sankey plowed in from the 2.

It was 14-0 after the Huskies next drive after Price hit all seven of his pass attempts, the last an inside screen to Williams, who made a quick sidestep that left Aztecs' defensive tackle Sam Meredith grasping at air and sprinted 8 yards for the two touchdown advantage.

Price finished 25 of 35 passes and completed 13 straight at one point of the first half. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins had nine catches for 82 yards.

The only mistakes Washington made in the opening half was due to a coverage lapse by the Huskies on the first play of the second quarter. San Diego State slid Vizzi on the field right before the snap and had him aligned near their sideline and uncovered. Washington coach Steve Sarkisian saw the open receiver at the last second and sprinted to call a timeout but was late. Katz made an easy toss and Vizzi went untouched for the touchdown.

But it was the Huskies defense making the biggest play of the night. Colin Lockett caught an 8-yard pass in the flat but as he was pulled down John Timu started ripping at the ball and loosened it just enough that when Talia Crichton drilled Lockett, the ball came completely free. Shamburger quickly grabbed the fumble and raced the other way, barely getting inside the pylon for the touchdown.

It was the first defensive touchdown for Washington since Quinton Richardson returned an interception for a score against UCLA two seasons ago. Jamaal Kearse returned a fumbled kickoff return for a touchdown last year at Utah.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SDSU
WASH
1st Downs1622
Total Yards327328
Passing128222
Rushing199106
Penalties4-404-46
3rd Down Conversions6-139-15
4th Down Conversions2-30-0
Turnovers31
Possession28:5731:03

Passing Leaders

San Diego StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Katz10/191286.711
WashingtonC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Price25/352226.310

Rushing Leaders

San Diego StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Kazee9869.6026
Katz16774.8032
WashingtonCARYDSAVGTDLG
Sankey22663.0120
Wilson II22211.0017

Receiving Leaders

San Diego StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Lockett44812.0032
Vizzi14747.0147
WashingtonRECYDSAVGTDLG
Seferian-Jenkins9829.1020
Williams67512.5120

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERSDSUWASH
TD09:23Bishop Sankey 2 Yd Run (Travis Coons Kick) 07
TD02:35Kasen Williams 8 Yd Pass From Keith Price (Travis Coons Kick) 014
SECOND QUARTERSDSUWASH
TD14:51Tim Vizzi 47 Yd Pass From Ryan Katz (Two-Point Conversion Failed) 614
THIRD QUARTERSDSUWASH
TD10:13Will Shamburger 44 Yd Fumble Return (Travis Coons Kick) 621
FOURTH QUARTERSDSUWASH
TD12:06Adam Muema 1 Yd Run (Two-Point Conversion Failed) 1221